FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 10/8/21
We've got a four-game MLB slate on Friday, and depending on how these series go, this could very well be the last time we get a slate this large for the rest of the postseason. Much like yesterday, implied totals range between three to four runs, with no team necessarily having a sizable advantage over anyone else. Note that games are spread out throughout the day, with the first one getting underway at 2:07 pm ET.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Corbin Burnes ($10,400): The list of starting pitchers is an impressive one, but Burnes still stands out above the rest. The Brewers right-hander finished the season with a 2.61 SIERA, 35.6% strikeout rate, and 5.2% walk rate, and while his strikeout rate dipped a bit over the summer, he wrapped up his regular season with a 40.5% strikeout rate in September. Burnes incredibly posted 70 or more FanDuel points four different times this year, showing just how absurd his ceiling is when he's in top form.
The Braves won't be a walk in the park for Burnes, but let's face it, there are no gimme matchups in the postseason, and Atlanta has the day's lowest implied total (3.20).
Charlie Morton ($9,000): After Burnes, you can make the case for several other guys, but if you're looking to save a bit off Burnes, Morton might hit the sweet spot of both matchup and salary. Shane Baz ($7,800) and his 36.7% strikeout rate over his first three starts is awfully tempting at his salary, but as is always the case with the Rays, it's almost a certainty that he gets the hook around five innings even if he's dealing.
Of the eight remaining playoff teams, you could argue that the Brewers have the least imposing offense of the group, as their active roster produced a below-average 93 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching in the regular season.
That sets up well for Morton, who can still sling it at age 37, submitting a 3.53 SIERA, 28.6% strikeout rate, and 7.7% walk rate over 33 starts this year. Outside of Burnes (and Baz over a small sample), those numbers can hang with anyone else on the slate.
Starting with Chicago, they're up against left-hander Framber Valdez, who has an elite 70.3% ground-ball rate but also has the worst strikeout rate (21.9%) and walk rate (10.1%) of the slate. Valdez's ability to induce grounders puts a damper on the White Sox's ability to hit dingers, but they could still put up some big innings if he gets into trouble with his control.
Chicago should also deploy an entire lineup of righties and switch-hitters to counter the southpaw. Jose Abreu ($3,800), Tim Anderson ($3,600), Luis Robert ($3,400), and Yasmani Grandal ($2,800) are all strong plays, with the last two being particularly enticing at their salaries. The rest of the lineup will be below $3,000 apiece, so there's plenty of value if necessary, as well.
The Astros face Lucas Giolito, which will be no easy task, but as we saw yesterday against Lance Lynn, Houston could be more than up for the task. They have the highest implied total on the board (4.13).
Giolito naturally has some excellent 2021 marks, but it's worth noting that he gives up a lot of fly balls (42.3%), and right-handed batters have actually had a good deal of success hitting dingers off of him, slugging home runs at a clip of 1.71 per nine innings. While that might seem a little flukey due to a 17.1% homer-to-fly-ball rate, this has been a consistent trend versus righties over his career.
That's good news for top righty sticks Jose Altuve ($4,000), Carlos Correa ($3,500), and Alex Bregman ($3,000). Giolito allows just as many fly balls to lefties, though, so power hitters Yordan Alvarez ($3,400) and Kyle Tucker ($3,700) should also be in the mix as always.
The rest of the lineup comes in at lower salaries, with number-two hitter Michael Brantley being a shoo-in value at $2,400.
Boston Red Sox: Noting the Red Sox here could end up looking silly (again) after they were totally shut out last night, but they're worth considering as a contrarian stack.
Tampa Bay's Shane Baz has an absurd 2.68 SIERA, 36.7% strikeout rate, and 6.1% walk rate this season, and he sure looks like the real deal. Except those numbers came over a mere three starts, and the 22-year-old is now making just his fourth ever MLB start tonight.
Could Baz completely mow down Boston's bats? Absolutely. But would anyone really be shocked if such an inexperienced pitcher also struggled under the bright lights in his playoffs debut?
Between the matchup, last night's dud, and the fact this game probably won't have starting lineups out until long after the slate has started, the Red Sox ought to see pretty low roster percentages across the board.
Rafael Devers ($4,100) and Kyle Schwarber ($3,300) are top-notch choices with the platoon advantage, but any of the usual suspects are in play. Hunter Renfroe ($2,800) is a fantastic value, and J.D. Martinez ($3,200) also seems too low if he's in the lineup.